Tonight, Lancaster City Council passed City Council Resolution No. 39-2023, recognizing Juneteenth. Alongside the vote, Celebrate Lancaster will incorporate Juneteenth programming on June 16, City of Lancaster offices will be closed in observance of Juneteenth, and a flag raising is planned for June 19.
Juneteenth, also known as Freedom Day or Emancipation Day, commemorates the emancipation of enslaved African Americans in the United States.
The resolution was unanimously passed during the regular council meeting. This marks the third consecutive year that City Council has passed a resolution to honor this significant day in history. The City’s commitment to recognizing Juneteenth is a testament to its dedication to diversity, inclusivity, and equality for all residents.
“The decision to recognize Juneteenth as an official City holiday continues our steps to celebrate our city’s diversity. We know that Lancaster’s Black community has long celebrated Juneteenth; I am so glad that nationally and locally, we’re amplifying one of the most significant moments in our shared history. This year, we commemorate not only the past but also the progress we continue to make towards a brighter, more equitable future,” said Mayor Danene Sorace.
This year marks a significant milestone as City offices will be closed on Monday, June 19 in observance of Juneteenth for the first time, honoring the historical significance of this day.
In collaboration with NAACP Lancaster, PA, there will be a Juneteenth flag raising ceremony at City Hall, 120 N. Duke St., on Monday, June 19, at 11 a.m. In accordance with the City’s flag raising policy, City Council authorized the Juneteenth flag raising during a regular council meeting on February 14.
Additionally, the City’s annual Celebrate Lancaster event, which showcases the vibrant culture and community spirit of Lancaster, has been moved to June 16 to incorporate Juneteenth programming. In partnership with Crispus Attucks Community Center, the event will honor Umoja, which means the spirit of community and unity in Swahili, and highlight the connection to the Juneteenth holiday. Umoja programming includes spoken word, live band performances, and the Umoja Community Champion Awards, which will honor four recipients at a ceremony taking place at 4:30 p.m. More information about Celebrate Lancaster can be found at www.cityoflancasterpa.gov/blog/celebrate-lancaster-honoring-umoja-showcases-community-spirit-and-juneteenth-connection-at-annual-event.
Spanning 7 square miles in south Central Pennsylvania, the City of Lancaster is home to 60,000 diverse residents. Committed to building a stronger, more equitable Lancaster block by block, the City of Lancaster oversees a range of public services including public safety, health, housing, parks, streets, and water and sewer operations. For more information, visit cityoflancasterpa.gov.